Study to evaluate a hormone therapy for prevention of adrenal disease in ferrets

Deslorelin implant as a preventative therapy for adrenal disease in the ferret

Joerg Mayer, DVM, MS, DABVP, DECZM, DACZM (Zoological Medicine faculty)
If interested please contact our Clinical Trials Coordinator Lisa Reno via email ([email protected]) or phone at 706-296-7818.

Study description:
Adrenal disease is one of the primary diseases which affect ferrets, and studies have shown that this condition is affecting 70% of pet ferrets in the U.S. Currently there is no documented treatment available to prevent adrenal disease in the ferret.

The proposed study will evaluate deslorelin, a hormone already licensed for the treatment of adrenal disease in ferrets, as a preventative if used yearly during routine examinations. Information gathered from the study will help determine effectiveness of this hormone as a preventative in comparison to naturally developing adrenal disease.

Healthy ferrets of either sex between 2 months and 1 year of age, that are free from clinical signs of adrenal disease may be screened and enrolled. Ferrets will receive a baseline physical exam and undergo an abdominal ultrasound to document absence of adrenal disease. Blood will be collected for routine labwork and hormone panel. If no disease is present, ferrets will be sedated and given the deslorelin implant subcutaneously. All ferrets will return annually for the next 4 years to undergo abdominal ultrasounds, annual labwork, and receive a yearly implant.

The costs of the yearly office exams, yearly labwork including a hormone panel, yearly abdominal ultrasound, and sedation for the yearly deslorelin implant will be paid for by the study. In addition, the deslorelin will be provided by the study. Owners will be responsible for any other costs pertaining to their pet’s treatment.

Duration of study:
This study is currently OPEN.

Potential benefits to veterinary medicine:
It is anticipated that the application of a deslorelin implant once a year will result in a prevention of adrenal gland disease in the vast majority of the study population.

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